John “Bulldozer” Magufuli, the candidate of Tanzania’s ruling party, has been declared the winner of Sunday’s presidential election but the opposition says the process was rigged and has demanded a recount.
The national electoral commission said on Thursday (October 29) that 56-year-old Magufuli, a minister for public works of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Party, won 58 percent of the votes.
His rival, former prime minister Edward Lowassa, was credited with 40 percent, but he has rejected the results and called on the electoral body to declare him the winner.
I have just filed my official petition against the NEC's ongoing announcements of presidential results and withdrawn my tallying agents.— Edward Lowassa (@edwardlowassatz) October 29, 2015
Adding to tensions, a vote for the president of the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago, traditionally a hotbed of opposition to central government, was annulled on Wednesday by the local election commission there, citing violations.
Sunday’s election has been the most hotly contested since 1961, when Tanzania, a nation of 47 million, declared independence from Britain. The CCM party has been in power ever since.